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A Message from Debi Daviau, Shannon Bittman and National Labour Relations Services About Collective Bargaining

2015 - What a year!

If we look back to where we were at the beginning of 2015, and what we have accomplished this past year, we should all be proud of how far we have come. We were able to stop the Harper Government on the government’s key issue in negotiations – sick leave and Bill C-59, as well as changing the course of the elections with our radical bargaining proposals centred around scientific integrity and the unmuzzling of scientists, and ultimately, our campaign to support public services. Our determination and solidarity has made it possible to welcome our new government, and to begin the process of rebuilding and restoring a public service that we can all be proud of.

Although, the newly elected Liberal Government has committed to respecting the collective bargaining, it does not mean that the Employer will say ‘’yes’’ to all our demands. We will continue the pressure and hold their feet to the fire by making sure that scientific integrity is protected by the collective agreement, our members have the income support they need when they are away from work due to illnesses or injuries, work places are free from harassment, public services are provided by public service employees and that we negotiate fair economic increase.

During the past year, we have seen the advantages of coordinating our negotiation efforts through the Strategic Bargaining Committee (SBC). The purpose of these meetings is for Group Presidents and Bargaining Chairs to evaluate and assess the Institute’s position and provide useful input to optimize our strategy.

At the SBC October meeting, we all agreed that the newly elected government would need some time to review their predecessor’s proposals and to establish new mandates for their negotiators, especially with regards to sick leave. In order to avoid confusion, we decided not to share the answers to the hundred questions we asked of TBS on their sick leave demands, since we fully expect that the original proposal will be substantially changed, based on the commitments made by the Liberal government during the election period.

Recently, Treasury Board asked that we postpone all scheduled negotiation sessions, until at least, late January in order to give them the time they need to review their mandate. We agreed to their request, while at the same time reminding them that, the longer the delay, the higher our expectation is for a mandate that will lead to a successful negotiation!

Happy Holidays!

Debi Daviau, Shannon Bittman and The National Labour Relations Services!

Publish Date: 24-DEC-2015 08:15 AM